Age UK held our Age Champions Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons last Monday. Despite our event coinciding with one of the most eventful days in Parliament in recent years, we were delighted that over 50 MPs and Peers were able to attend and help to celebrate the achievements of our Age Champions, and hear about what actions they could take to make the UK a great place to grow older. Continue reading “Age Champions Parliamentary Reception”
Today’s blog is about Age UK’s recent parliamentary reception to celebrate the commitment of our Age Champion MPs. Pictured is Age UK campaigner Joan, receiving flowers from the Speaker of the House of Commons in thanks for her speech.
On Monday 6th July, Age UK were delighted to host a Reception in the Speaker’s House with a number of our dedicated older campaigners and Parliamentarians. The event was an opportunity for MPs to speak with older people and representatives from Age UK about the issues affecting people in later life, and what the government and communities can do today and tomorrow to make the UK and their constituencies a better place to grow older.
Age UK campaigner Joan Manning gave a moving speech about her personal experience caring for her husband. She explained:
‘I have been lucky. My husband Geoffrey was a very gracious and accommodating patient. He was not aggressive. He was funny and made jokes until the day he died. I was lucky: He did not die of Alzheimer’s. He was ‘saved’ by his cancer. Geoffrey was eventually assessed as being unwell enough to qualify for care. Unable to get out of bed, stand or communicate, with diffuse cancer and in the depths of dementia. This was 3 days before he died. Yes – I was lucky.’
The reception was also an opportunity for us to talk about what it means to be an ‘Age Champion’; a pledge that over 80 MPs signed up to during our General Election campaign. By signing up to be an Age Champion, MPs will work with Age UK on issues being faced by many people in later life including:
– The need to end the crisis in social care, with over 1 million older people who have difficulty with basic tasks such as getting out of bed, washing, and dressing receive no help or support.
– The urgent need for better housing and warm homes in winter. In 2012 there were over 600,000 older households living in fuel poverty.
– Loneliness and isolation, with around 1 million older people regularly going an entire month without speaking to anyone
The event was a huge success and a fantastic opportunity for us and our campaigners to meet our Age Champions and discuss our ambitions for later life.
For more information about our work with parliamentarians head to our Politics and Government website pages. You can also follow our public affairs and campaigning work, and see photos from the reception, on Twitter: @ageukcampaigns.
This week’s blog from our General Election Series highlights the key policy commitments from the party’s manifestos that are relevant to older people. This post was contributed by Hannah Pearce, joint Head of Public Affairs, at Age UK.
I’m not sure what the collective noun is for a collection of manifestos but we were certainly hit by a flurry of thick wads of paper this week. The parties have finally pinned their colours to the mast and published their manifestos – which have been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm and cynicism. And we’re now in the last leg of what has felt like a long election campaign, with voting day less than 3 weeks away in what’s been termed the most unpredictable election in a generation.
Age UK wouldn’t dream of advising people about how to vote – indeed we’re rightly prohibited by charity and election law from doing so. However we are very keen to engage voters in the election and specifically to encourage people to question the parties and their local candidates about their plans to make this country ‘a great place to grow older’. A few months ago Age UK launched our own manifesto with a wide range of ideas and proposals explaining how this could be achieved. Continue reading “General Election Series: Vote later life in 2015”